Jean-Louis Trintignant


July 5, 2022

Jean-Louis Trintignant (11 December 1930 – 17 June 2022) was a French actor.

Life and work

Education and debut

Trintignant began to study law, but he dropped out and went to Paris to become an actor. He made his stage debut in 1951. Since then, he has worked hard to master his shyness. He made his big screen debut in 1955.


The following year, he achieved international fame as Brigitte Bardot's shy husband in the scandal film Et Dieu... créa la femme (1956). He then had to interrupt his film career for three years to do military service in Algeria. Back in France he continued his career.

New Start

In 1966 Trintignant regained fame thanks to his leading role, alongside Anouk Aimée, in Un homme et une femme, Claude Lelouch's much acclaimed breakthrough film. Lelouch shot two sequels to this very successful romantic film, each time with the same acting duo: Un homme et une femme, 20 ans déjà (1986) and Les Plus Belles Années d'une vie (2019).

1966-1986 : twenty productive years

After that, Trintignant's film career ran at full speed for twenty years: between 1966 and 1986 he appeared in seventy films. Some key movies are: the spaghetti western Il grande silenzio (1968) by Sergio Corbucci, one of the genre's masters, in which Trintignant plays the title role, that of a mute sniper who has to fight bounty hunters. the political thriller Z (Costa-Gavras, 1969) in which, as an investigating judge, he takes a close look at the death of a left-wing politician during the Greek colonel regime, with much opposition. the romantic tragicomic talk film Ma nuit chez Maud (1969), the fourth of a cycle of six 'contes moraux' by film author Éric Rohmer, in which he, a lonely and somewhat shy engineer, spends the night talking with Maud, a recently divorced woman who would like to seduce, when in fact he is in love with a young woman whom he sees every Sunday in mass. the dramatic political satire Il conformista (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970) set in fascist Italy in 1938, in which he adapted to the prevailing political climate, joined the fascist party and became part of Mussolini's secret police. He is tasked with eliminating an anti-fascist leader who used to be his philosophy professor. To do this, he must first gain his trust. the political drama La Banquière (Francis Girod, 1980) in which he plays a powerful banker who becomes the enemy of Marthe Hanau, the lesbian and very successful banker of 'les années folles'. the crime film with thriller-style Vivement dimanche! (François Truffaut, 1983) in which, as a real estate agent, he is suspected of several murders and is pulled out of trouble by his secretary, who is quietly in love with him. During this busy period, Trintignant also took place behind the camera to direct two comedies: Une journée bien remplie (1973) and Le Maître-nageur (1979).

1987-2012 : twenty five calm years

From the end of the eighties Trintignant appeared less and less on the silver screen. Worth mentioning is the drama Trois couleurs: Rouge (1994), the third and final part of Krzysztof Kieślowski's Trois couleurs, in which he portrayed a gruff retired investigating judge who illegally eavesdrops on his neighbors. Furthermore, the crime drama Regarde les hommes tomber (1994) and the drama Un héros très discret (1996), the first two films by Jacques Audiard.


In 2012, director Michael Haneke put Trintignant back in the spotlight thanks to the role of the highly cultured music teacher who watches his wife decline in the tragic old-age drama Amour. In 2017 Haneke again called on Trint